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MTSU students take advantage of free remote tutori...

MTSU students take advantage of free remote tutoring in 200 courses

MTSU is continuing its remote tutoring into the fall as the option proved quite successful and popular with students during the modified spring semester when the university went to online learning because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Office of Student Success is again leading the remote tutoring method during the fall semester, with opportunities for hundreds of students to discover ways to stay on top of their academic game plan and not fall behind.

MTSU graduate students Nancy Peng and Adam Mahan, inset, test their Zoom before meeting with students they will be tutoring remotely. Peng, who is from China, is focusing on a literacy studies degree in the College of Education. From Mobile, Ala., Mahan is working on his master of professional studies in training and development. (Submitted photo)

MTSU graduate students Nancy Peng and Adam Mahan, inset, test their Zoom before meeting with students they will be tutoring remotely. Peng, who is from China, is focusing on a literacy studies degree in the College of Education. From Mobile, Ala., Mahan is working on his master of professional studies in training and development. (Submitted photo)

About 1,000 students have taken advantage of the free service — normally offered at The Tutoring Spot in the James E. Walker Library and various on-campus locations by the MTSU Office of Student Success — that is available via Zoom online teleconferencing and other methods.

Dr. Cornelia Wills, director of Student Success

Dr. Cornelia Wills

A mid-June meeting led to the decision to once again tutor remotely, “with a priority given to protect the health, welfare and safety of students and the campus community,” said Cornelia Wills, director of Student Success, who leads the university’s tutoring and supplemental instruction program.

Many students are taking advantage of remote help in nearly200 courses and subject areas during the fall semester.

Benefits of tutoring include:

• Better test grades and improved GPA.

• Higher persistence/retention rates

• Understanding difficult course material.

• Help when struggling in a course.

Because of the nature of some courses, there is still on-ground tutoring in a few areas with a studio format such as Theatre and Dance and human sciences.

Remote sessions also are being conducted for supplemental instruction — a peer-assisted, group study and discussion method using regularly scheduled, informal sessions to help students develop greater understanding of challenging content, refine study skills and integrate course material.

MTSU Office of Student Success supplemental instruction tutor Clinton Warren reviews notes with fellow students during one of more than 200 free tutoring offerings available to students. (Submitted photo)

MTSU Office of Student Success supplemental instruction tutor Clinton Warren reviews notes with fellow students during one of more than 200 free tutoring offerings available to students. (Submitted photo)

Supplemental instruction leader Clinton Warren said “things are going great and my first couple of sessions were better than I could have hoped, and a fair number of students came and expressed further interest.”

Spring remote tutoring numbers were impressive: Even with the COVID-19 disruption, 4,959 tutoring sessions far exceeded utilization from the spring 2019 total of 3,561 in-person sessions.

Nearly as many students used remote tutoring (48 percent) as did on-ground tutoring (52 percent) before spring break.

MTSU junior psychology major Chuka Onuh of Franklin, Tenn., tutors a student from his home. Onuh, who is minoring in biology and chemistry, also is an undergraduate researcher and tutors young children at Kumon Tutoring Center in Franklin.(Submitted photo)

MTSU junior psychology major Chuka Onuh of Franklin, Tenn., tutors a student from his home. Onuh, who is minoring in biology and chemistry, also is an undergraduate researcher and tutors young children at Kumon Tutoring Center in Franklin.(Submitted photo)

Ways to grow

As an enhancement to the traditional annual tutor training, Wills integrated a new training component, Online Tutoring Essentials. Developed by Tutor Matching Service, it is a two-hour, self-paced, interactive course designed to help tutors to create both a collaborative and engaging online tutoring experience. All tutors were asked to complete the training

Dr. Rick Sluder, vice provost, Student Success; dean, University College

Dr. Rick Sluder

Dr. Vincent Windrow

Dr. Vincent Windrow

The Office of Student Success has partnered with the campus’s Disability and Access Center to provide help through organizational and study skills for these students.

A future endeavor includes a proposed venture with the Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center to offer specialized tutoring assistance to this special population of students — the veterans.

MTSU’s Office of Student Success is led by Rick Sluder, vice provost for student success, and Vincent Windrow, associate vice provost.

To learn more or find answers to questions about remote tutoring, contact Wills at cwills@mtsu.edu or call 615-494-8650.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

As part of free remote tutoring options for MTSU students offered by the Office of Student Success, tutor Na’Cosha Nelson helps students gain a greater understanding of their course work during the fall semester. (Submitted photo)


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